Idea & Inspiration Challenge

Barbara Blankenship © 2007

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As an avid crazy quilter I am always looking for new ideas for embellishments. There are so many beautiful combinations of threads, silk ribbons, beads, buttons, trims, laces, motifs, etc., and it seems we are without limitations when it comes to seam treatments and motifs. What the eye can see and our minds conceive can often be reproduced in our needlework.

I would like to issue a challenge with this issue of CQMagOnline. I know all of you have favorites when it comes to embellishing. I would like for you to take pictures of your finished seams or motifs and include an explanation of materials and techniques used. If the seam or motif requires step-by-step instructions I will be glad to do this for any of you who would like for me to. Just send a good picture along with a thorough explanation and perhaps I can reproduce it in step by step pictures By making this an easy challenge, I'm hoping for a fantastic response from all our readers. Send this information to me at: 

Each upcoming issue will include an article with all of your submitted work. Be sure to include your name and state with each submission. I will officially begin our challenge by submitting two of my favorites. I hope you will join me in sharing your ideas and inspirations with those who enjoy reading CQMagOnline.

Beaded Grapes:

These are made with the tiny Japanese drop beads that are available in many colors. The vine is stitched with Edmar Lola thread in a variegated green. The leaves are a leaf stitch in 4mm silk ribbon with a fine gold metallic leaf stitch in the center.

Using a beading needle and Nymo thread, string five tiny Japanese seed beads.
Place your needle through the 3rd. drop bead and pull beads snugly against each other.
 Add 2 tiny drop beads.
Place your needle through the first drop bead added (the one against the fabric.) Take the needle through the hole of the bead and down through the fabric. Leave thread somewhat loose to allow your beads to dangle. Secure thread with a knot. Youíve completed one grape.

Note: If you want the drop beads to dangle more freely string 2 #11 matching seed beads and then the 5 drop beads (in first step.) In the last step you would go through the first drop bead, the 2 seed beads, and then down through the fabric.

This shows the completed seam.
This seam is done with a total of 5 drop beads. I used the Edmar Lola thread, and the leaf is done with a bullion stitch.
Iíve used 3 drop beads on this seam. Iíve used a featherstitch for the vine and a leaf stitch with 4mm silk ribbon.

Lazy Daisy and Sequins:

Although this is a very simple seam embellishment, it adds sparkle by using the 3mm cupped sequins. These are available online at the following site:  They offer a fabulous selections of colors and sizes. Add a #15 seed bead to stitch the sequins in place. The lazy daisy is stitched with #8 Kreinik thread #5535.


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